New Orleans is no longer safe to live in.
Apparently attempts to repair the breached levees have failed, and the waters will rise. Looting has escalated into near-anarchy, and CNN is reporting that cops are traveling in packs after one of them was shot by a looter. Over 25,000 people are stranded at the damaged Super Dome; it's surrounded by water now. They have to be evacuated, and no one knows how. One idea was cruise ships. The people in charge down there are talking like abandoning New Orelans is the plan, for now, because the situation is quickly becoming unteneable.
The scope of the disaster reaches far beyond New Orleans, and there are some towns in Mississippi that no longer exist. If you want to help, in any way:
The American Red Cross
A variety of other charities.
Maud is blogging literary, and thoughtfully, on the disaster. Caitlin got through to her mother fine in Birmingham, and New Orleans author Poppy Z. Brite made it out of dodge to safety.